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Utah is considering legalizing homebrew!

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BeehiveBrewer

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I wrote a letter to my rep. You can find your rep at: http://http://le.utah.gov/

then click Legislators, then click Find by Address/Map

"...The Utah Legislature General Session ends on March 5, 2008. Therefore
time
is of the essence."



Apparently the bill had a favorable recommendation in the House Rules Committee yesterday. I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds good.

Bill info: http://le.utah.gov/~2008/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0425S01.htm

"....the bill that would make this possible is before the
Utah
House of Representatives (HB 425), has already been introduced, and is
with
the House Rules Committee. It must make its way through committee
before it
can go back to the floor for a debate and vote. Encouraging your
legislator to support this bill is important at every step of the way."
 

mrkristofo

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Thanks for that!

Edit: Emails sent to my representative (L. Wiley) and Senator (R. Romero). By looking at the votes, it appears my rep is already on-board. booya!

Editx2: Just spoke to AHA Director Gary Class who testified on the floor yesterday. He said he though the bill was very well received given the unanimous "Yea" vote, but it's questionable whether it will make it past the House floor for open vote and then past the Senate. Utahns, write your representative & senator to urge your support for HB 425
 

Nyxator

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Right on. Good luck, Utahns. Seems to me that the bill reads the same as the ones passed in most other states, allowing 200g per year per household. I actually did not know it was illegal there, still. I know some brewers from Utah... :mug:
 

EdWort

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Good luck! I lived there as a Homebrew fugitive for 5 years brewing in Happy Valley. :D For some unknown reason, I could not get any of the missionariess to try my beer when they stopped by. I told them I would invite them in if they would enjoy a beer with me, but they always declined and moved on.
 

zoebisch01

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brewt00l said:
Do they actually enforce the current legislation that makes homebrewing illegal?
I think a lot of laws are written so that they are not really enforced but in place to make you a criminal when you aren't really doing anything wrong :(.
 

Matt Foley

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Wow, I did not realize that this bill was even pending. Just last night as I was pouring a tall one for a guest we talked about the illegality here. Its funny as the Beer Nut and Arts Brewing Supplies have been around for a long time in SLC. Of course selling brewing supplies has never been illegal, just using them. Its seems like back in the early 90s I used to hear stories of Art catching some hell. Anyway, I am contacting my legislator. Thanks.
 

EdWort

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Matt Foley said:
Wow, I did not realize that this bill was even pending. Just last night as I was pouring a tall one for a guest we talked about the illegality here. Its funny as the Beer Nut and Arts Brewing Supplies have been around for a long time in SLC. Of course selling brewing supplies has never been illegal, just using them. Its seems like back in the early 90s I used to hear stories of Art catching some hell. Anyway, I am contacting my legislator. Thanks.
Yeah, I used to get all my supplies at the Beer Nut in SLC. I had asked them many years ago about an all grain brewing class. They could do it all the way up to pitching the yeast. If they were to ever add yeast, that would be breaking the law and they did not want to bring scrutiny to the business.

Utah is a bit backwards regarding alcohol due to the Mormon influence in their legislature. One's gotta buy a membership in a pub to get a beer in most places still.
 
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BeehiveBrewer

BeehiveBrewer

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I don't think they have ever enforced the law, but I don't want to be the one they start on.

I wonder if they will include a keg clause since you can't buy kegs in Utah either?

Let's hope so:fro:
 

eschatz

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buy a membership to drink in a pub?!!!! damn, i just complain about the blue law in indiana! (you cant buy on sunday)
 

knipknup

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Do you mind sharing your letter? I started to write one the other day but am unsure how to word a letter.

"Hey, I'm a homebrewer that just relocated to Utah, your vote for the bill can make me a law abiding citizen of the State", just doesn't sound like it will make a good impression.

Thanks.
 

mrkristofo

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Mine was pretty much a copy/paste effort from the AHA website.

To my rep:

Rep. [Rep's name]l

I am writing to you regarding HB 425, which amends Utah state code to legalize Homebrewing in the state of UT. Homebrewing beer and wine is a fun, interesting and rewarding hobby that is steeped in traditions that began in ancient cultures. Legalization began in the United States in 1978, and it is estimated over 1 million Americans have tried homebrewing since then. What other hobbies can claim such a rich history? There is more beer and brewing activity now than ever before. More and more people are being educated about the varied styles of beer and methods of brewing.

Homebrewing should be legal and recognized everywhere in the United States. We have the right to brew just as we have a responsibility to uphold the tradition of the art, craft and science of brewing. Homebrewing as a hobby builds respect for beer as an alcohol-containing beverage, for brewing traditions and for the craft-brewing industry as a whole. The federal government has even acknowledged, for the first time, that consuming some alcohol can be healthful, according to the New York Times News Service. Homebrewers are responsible members of society across a broad spectrum, including managers, computer programmers, doctors, scientists, teachers, lawyers and parents. We are responsible about our consumption of beer because we are educated about its effects on our bodies and the role beer plays in our own lives and in society.

As your constituent, I strongly request your support for HB 425.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

To my Senator:

Senator [Name],

I am writing to you regarding HB 425, which amends Utah state code to legalize Homebrewing in the state of UT. Currently it is in in the House awaiting its third reading. I have already written Rep. Wiley urging his support, and should this bill be passed to the Senate, I would like to request the same from you.

Homebrewing beer and wine is a fun, interesting and rewarding hobby that is steeped in traditions that began in ancient cultures. Legalization began in the United States in 1978, and it is estimated over 1 million Americans have tried homebrewing since then. What other hobbies can claim such a rich history? There is more beer and brewing activity now than ever before. More and more people are being educated about the varied styles of beer and methods of brewing.

Homebrewing should be legal and recognized everywhere in the United States. We have the right to brew just as we have a responsibility to uphold the tradition of the art, craft and science of brewing. Homebrewing as a hobby builds respect for beer as an alcohol-containing beverage, for brewing traditions and for the craft-brewing industry as a whole. The federal government has even acknowledged, for the first time, that consuming some alcohol can be healthful, according to the New York Times News Service. Homebrewers are responsible members of society across a broad spectrum, including managers, computer programmers, doctors, scientists, teachers, lawyers and parents. We are responsible about our consumption of beer because we are educated about its effects on our bodies and the role beer plays in our own lives and in society.

As your constituent, I strongly request your support for HB 425.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]
 

Rockybottom

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If it does not pass just move a little north, everybody else seems to be;)

Good luck but don't hold your breath the "influence" is deep there. (here also. I feel your pain)
 

sflcowboy78

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zoebisch01 said:
I think a lot of laws are written so that they are not really enforced but in place to make you a criminal when you aren't really doing anything wrong :(.
Just curious and i might sound stupid for asking this, but how can State Law supersede Federal Law. The way i see it is the state although may have their local laws, they still have to abide by federal laws. If the Federal law says it is legal to brew, then shouldn't it override state law. Example local city has laws, city is part of state city has to follow state laws, state is part of country, state has to follow country laws. If this is not true then all we really all is a group of countries joined together for strength, each state really being it's own country.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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sflcowboy78 said:
Just curious and i might sound stupid for asking this, but how can State Law supersede Federal Law. The way i see it is the state although may have their local laws, they still have to abide by federal laws. If the Federal law says it is legal to brew, then shouldn't it override state law. Example local city has laws, city is part of state city has to follow state laws, state is part of country, state has to follow country laws. If this is not true then all we really all is a group of countries joined together for strength, each state really being it's own country.
The Federal Law doesn't explicitly legalize homebrew. The law merely gives states the right to enact legislation legalizing the brewing of up to 100 gallons of beer a year (200 gallons for 2 adults living together). In other words, the Federal Law just gives states the broad outline of the maximum permitted extent of the law which may be enacted by the states. From there, it is up to the individual states to choose whether or not to enact such legislation.

Lots of states allow homebrewing, but set limits that are actually lower than those allowed by the Fed. That is the states' right to do so.
 

Nyxator

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The laws themselves basically allow someone to make small amounts of beer without first obtaining a license, not necessarily legalize it. If a state wants to make a stricter law, they are welcome to do so.
 

mrkristofo

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Sir Humpsalot said:
The Federal Law doesn't explicitly legalize homebrew. The law merely gives states the right to enact legislation legalizing the brewing of up to 100 gallons of beer a year (200 gallons for 2 adults living together). In other words, the Federal Law just gives states the broad outline of the maximum permitted extent of the law which may be enacted by the states. From there, it is up to the individual states to choose whether or not to enact such legislation.

Lots of states allow homebrewing, but set limits that are actually lower than those allowed by the Fed. That is the states' right to do so.
Also, in repealing prohibition, the states were granted their own powers to regulate alcohol. It's in the second section of the 21st amendment.
 

RockfordWhite

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Yeah, states have all the power over alcohol, but the US goverment gives them incentives to follow their lead...like the whole 21 drinking age is not a national law, but if a state decides not to follow it, they get no money for highway development and maintenance...too bad the federal government didn't feel as strongly about kegs
 

Wort*hog

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First I've heard of it. Hope it passes. Not sure if it will be as much fun bein' legal and all!
 

Wort*hog

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It passed in the House Wednesday 55 to 13. It will now be considered in the Senate.
 

EdWort

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Wort*hog said:
It passed in the House Wednesday 55 to 13. It will now be considered in the Senate.
Wooo HOOO. Time to start writing your state senators. Don't email, send them a real letter or fax them. Call them on the phone too. It works! Be part of the process, then pat yourself on the back for coming out of the darkness as illegal homebrewers. :D Amnesty for all of you! :mug:
 

Brewsmith

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I'll just bump this to keep it near the top of new posts. EdWort is right on. Send them real letters and faxes.
 

ryan_boc

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The Free the Hops movement here in Alabama just got a law introduced here to legalize homebrewing (among other brew related laws). I wish Utah the best of luck in getting this passed. That way hopefully AL will finally de-criminalize my hobby. I'm hoping state legislators wouldn't take to kindly to being beat to anything by Utah :mug:
 
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BeehiveBrewer

BeehiveBrewer

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Wrote my senator. If the house vote was any indication, it is looking good!

I listened to the audio debate on another alcohol bill, and I didn't realize the 86% markup on liquor goes to the school lunch program. Interesting.
 

feedthebear

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Did you guys read the bill that increases a metered shot to 1.5 oz from 1.0 oz? I was kind of excited about it until I read the second half of the bill which reduces the content for a mixed drink from 2.75 oz. to 2.5 oz. So if you order a Screwdriver, you'll get more vodka. But if you order a margarita, you'll get fewer flavor shots.
 

knipknup

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I don't get it, but that's ok, I only order GnT's and Dry Martini's when out. I prefer to mix my own.

As far as I understand mixed drinks, these two will not be threatened by what you say... Am I right?
 

david_42

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In Utah's case, when the licensing system was setup for breweries, there was no exemption for homebrewing. So you could homebrew, but you needed to buy a $3200 license! This bill establishes an exemption from the license process.
 
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Utah turns a blind eye to polygamy but drops the boot on home brewing. Yeah that makes fookin' sense. Excuse my rant. I need a keg for my session tonight and Ive been trying to kill what I thought was an almost empty keg for a while now. It's the Chanukah keg for God's sake!!!
 

Matt Foley

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Castle Meadow Brewery said:
Utah turns a blind eye to polygamy but drops the boot on home brewing. Yeah that makes fookin' sense. Excuse my rant. I need a keg for my session tonight and Ive been trying to kill what I thought was an almost empty keg for a while now. It's the Chanukah keg for God's sake!!!

Actually, Utah has turned a somewhat blind eye to homebrewing as I am unaware of anyone being prosecuted although supplies are redily available in SLC whereas Warren Jeffs the bigest polyg leader in modern times was convicted by a Utah jury and spending two consecutive 5 year terms.

Not to diminish the importance of the current homebrewing bill as I am all for it.
 

feedthebear

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knipknup said:
I don't get it, but that's ok, I only order GnT's and Dry Martini's when out. I prefer to mix my own.

As far as I understand mixed drinks, these two will not be threatened by what you say... Am I right?
The mixed drinks will have 0.25 oz. less alcohol. I'm thinking to counter this, I should specify Bacardi 151 as one of the shots in everything I order.
 

mrkristofo

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Well, the bill is dead. Looks like not enough brewers contacted their senators. Senate rules committee didn't recommend the bill for second reading, and the senate session ended yesterday, killing the bill.

sonofab*tch.

Given the huge 55-13 support of the bill in the House, I thought it was a gimme. This F***ing Fascist State. It will get you every time.
 

knipknup

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I guess it's limrick time...

There was a state in the Union
that wasn't like the other children.
Tho legal elsewhere,
the senate could not bear
the thought of anyone legally brewin...

After a House majority rule,
the Senate thought, "not so cool".
Killing the bill
they sent us home ill
only comforted by our carboys so full!

Brew on!
 

mrkristofo

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knipknup said:
I guess it's limrick time...

There was a state in the Union
that wasn't like the other children.
Tho legal elsewhere,
the senate could not bear
the thought of anyone legally brewin...

After a House majority rule,
the Senate thought, "not so cool".
Killing the bill
they sent us home ill
only comforted by our carboys so full!

Brew on!
:rockin: :rockin: :rockin:

Brew stuff down in SLC now?
 

EdWort

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FYI........

"Hi All,

Just wanted to update everyone on the Utah bill to legalize homebrewing.
The Senate Rules Committee chose not to allow HB 425 to go to a vote in
the Senate, so the bill died with the end of the legislative session
yesterday. From what I have heard from Representative Johnson's office,
the decision not to allow a hearing of the bill had more to do with a
tit-for-tat issue between the House and Senate on another bill than any
opposition to legalizing homebrewing in Utah. Unfortunately, that is
the way politics goes sometimes.

On the bright side, we made huge progress over previous attempts to
legalize homebrewing in Utah. A big thanks goes to all of the Utah AHA
members who emailed and phoned their representatives - their efforts
made helped to get the bill through the House Government Operations
Committee and through an overwhelmingly positive vote in the full House.


Our biggest obstacle this time around was time - we ran out of it. I am
confident that we will be successful with a future attempt. It sounds
like Representative Johnson may be sponsoring the bill again at
beginning the next legislative session which begins January 2009.

Still up for a fight!
Gary

Gary Glass
Director
American Homebrewers Association
888-U-CAN-BREW
303-447-0816 x 121
[email protected]
www.beertown.org "
 
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